EU wants to watch over Sen hearing

New Delhi: After the United Nations, the European Union has told India that it would like to keep a watch on the hearing on the appeal of rights activist Binayak Sen in Chhattisgrah High Court on Monday while expressing concern over the condition of his detention.

"The EU has informed the Ministry of External Affairs of its intention to send representatives from its Delhi-based missions of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Hungary, Sweden, the UK, and the EU, to attend the court hearing in the case of human rights defender and national vice-president of the People`s Union for Civil Liberties, Binayak Sen, as observers," according to the EU delegation here.

"The EU has also expressed to the Indian authorities its concern about the conditions pertaining to the detention of Sen," it said in a statement.

The hearing is scheduled to take place at the Chhattisgarh High Court in Bilaspur tomorrow. The MEA has already forwarded the letter to the concerned ministry as well as to the state government.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has reportedly sent the request of the Centre to the High Court to take a view on it.

61-year-old Sen, a paediatrician by profession, was convicted for sedition and sentenced to life in prison along with Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata businessman Piyush Guha for colluding with Maoists to establish a network to fight the state.

Sen has already challenged in Chhattisgarh High Court the life sentence given to him by a local court.

Earlier, UN Special Rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya had said the "due process" should take place while dealing with the case and the world body was waiting to see the outcome of the appeal filed in a higher court against his sentence.

"We are waiting for the outcome of the case. We want to see how the case is going to be handled by the courts," Sekaggya, who was on a 10-day fact-finding mission in India to look into the human rights situation in the country, had said here.